A letter from a woman who found out her husband is gay

I have been receiving some overwhelming messages on Facebook from people touched by the stories of the characters of my novel 3aroos Amman. Many have been thanking me for how much the book expressed their emotions. Many have identified themselves in the characters and read their own stories in these story lines.  When I wrote the book, I wanted to be a real reflection of the state of society around me. It highlights the issues from a feminist perspective. I am glad that it is reaching to people and giving them different kinds of emotions. For me, this is enough, this is rewarding, to just know that many people who felt isolated, alone, in dispair, would know that they are not alone, and that many others have gone through the same.

Here is a letter from a woman who identified with two characters, Laila & Salma. It contains some spoiler, but a very touching message that I wanted to share with you after taking her permission. She sent it from a fake profile on Facebook under the name Jane. My heart is with you Jane.

I really adored the novel for a special reason which is that I am Layla & Salma..Am a 29 year old girl who got divorced after 2 months of marriage to a gay husband and about a long period of engagement.

This experience changed my life upside down, made me lose all my dreams and made it so hard for me to trust any person in the whole world. I had a problem for some time with my beliefs and morals. Am religious, so conservative in my life..used to love everyone and help everyone in need. Am no longer the same, though I can say am somehow back on track.

This man that I married used to make me feel that am a queen, I really used to feel that he loved me and I loved him deeply. The only thing I asked from him is to make me feel safe. During the engagement, sometimes I felt that something is wrong but I always gave excuses.

One time during the engagement, I saw by accident a gay site on his laptop. I was shocked, but immediately refused any thought as he is religious and respectable and would never do anything like this.

Anyways, we didn’t consummate our marriage until a long time after the wedding day and with the help of Viagra.
I always felt that he didn’t want me and any act of affection would be out of duty. Not once did I feel that he loved being around me, just like layla used to say. I always felt something is wrong. Until one day I saw a msg from him to a guy with very inappropriate words. I didn’t say a word. We used to fight a lot on silly things. He loved being out of the house.A week later, he told me that he wanted divorce because we are not getting along.

I confronted him and he admitted. I gave him a chance that if he stops I will stand by his side and help him to quit. I visited many psychiatrists. He refused at first then accepted , I guess because he was afraid from my family and his. Anyways it is a long story and I gave many chances and he let me down , not once I felt that he wanted me at his house. And my biggest shock was when I knew that his family knew about him and made him go through with the marriage.

Anyways, I loved the story because I saw all the emotions and feelings that I felt before in Layla, expressed in an amazing way. If I wrote my story, it wont be as expressive of the truth as yours. I couldn’t help but cry with each line, cause it brought back lots of memories and emotions.

But I don’t agree with the ending. I know that layla chose this ending because of the society but how can she be friends with him? How can she accept knowing that he goes to have sex with guys? What husband would ask his wife to sleep with other men if she wants? Is this marriage? What happened to all the sacred feelings and commitments of marriage? What will happen to her son when he discovers his father is gay?

Let me tell you that living with a gay husband, is not a problem because of lack of sex only. This is a minor part and many would live without it.I used to think that he is impotent and that wasn’t a problem for me at all. But the problem is these men can’t live with a woman. Fights would be the title of their marriage because they always feel that they cannot live this world.it is not theirs.

Why would I pity him ? he knew about himself all the time and dragged me to this hell. When God created marriage, He did it between man and woman to complete and satisfy each other which is not the case in gay straight marriage. I don’t agree with your ending cause I feel it is filled with ظلم. And I don’t think that it is applicable, it is not marriage. The deceipt , lies and betrayal cannot make 2 people live with each other happily, and friendship is something else than marriage.

I really thank you for writing this amazing novel and for showing all these emotions. I can say am Salma now, cause am about to be thirty , am dying to have kids, but I will never be able to have one because of my age and being divorced. When I read what you wrote about salma talking about her imaginary daughter I cried, because I was saying these exact words to my friend few days earlier. Now I have no option except doing volunteer work with orphans. I wish we can adopt but as you said it is not acceptable.

So thank you for talking to me through the novel, and for making me feel that someone understands what am going through. I wish that gay guys would never marry, cause they would be literally killing the girls..7aram..

Sorry for the long letter but you gave me a chance to express myself because I cant do this. Cause I cant tell people about him and my feelings , and even if I do they won’t understand.

I will never forgive him for ripping my life.

Social Hypocrisy

It baffles me how many female friends/acquaintances have disappeared from my facebook friends’ list. I don’t take that personal as I know that it is always related to a new kind of relationship in that friend life – usually an official one like in engagement or marriage -.

Disabled facebook accounts, male friends’ removal, or tightened privacy settings are not uncommon among Jordanian women when they engage in a serious relationship, actually it is becoming more of something that is expected! Why would a married woman keep male friends on her facebook list? We still can’t think of people’s relationships outside gender binaries, do we?

How many women are out there who have suspended their online social relations for the sake of their families? which is, in other words, to avoid problems that may arrise with their husbands. How many women are out there who do expect such behaviour from their men? and actually give them legitemacy by claiming that it is our culture. We can’t break off it, can we?

How many men are out there who carry on such behaviour not because it does really threaten them, but because it is what they believe people expect from them, including their own wives? Would she lose respect of him if he didn’t get mad over her facebook account? Maybe some would, and it may better to act the way they expect me to act, no?

Isn’t it easier to just break off – even slightly – from social expectation? When will Jordanian women stop excusing men abusive behaviour under the name of our culture?